Pivot started an elementary program three years ago at its North Bay, Riverside and San Diego campuses. The program has evolved and grown, particularly in the past year, and many families are finding success using the program as a way to homeschool their students but still partciipate in social and educational activities with other students at the resource center. . Pivot provides an engaging online curriculum that is available from home, as well as classroom time each day for assessment, group interaction and socialization.
When the students come to campus, they are spending about 30 minutes on the computer using the online curriculum. This helps the teacher to ensure that the student is familiar with the curriculum and progressing through the online lessons at an acceptable pace. The students are then expected to work on the computer at home for roughly 2 -2.5 hours in addition to their 3 hours at the resource center, completing 3-4 assignments per day. That allows additional time at home for other practice, such as math facts and writing to solidify skills. In addition, parents work on other things with their kids like cooking, shopping, gardening and other life skills.
Julie Smith, Elementary Educational Coordinator in Pivot North Bay, says “Parents should understand what they are signing up for when they enroll in our elementary program. This is really a homeschool program that requires involvement from an adult at home and not just in the classroom. In the classroom there is a lot of time for discussion, interaction and group work, as well as socialization, which is the biggest advantage of the site time. And of course, the teacher is here as a resource for the parents to provide supplemental materials and suggestions for helping continue the learning at home.”
In the classroom, the students spend time working on various skills such as the calendar, weather, building, art, music, physical activity and hands-on projects. The students may do a winter unit and study snowflakes, for example. They will discuss the science behind a snowflake, the symmetry of a snowflake, practice fine motor skills and cut out snowflakes, and learn songs about winter to sing together.
Pivot also plans field trips for the elementary students for opportunities to learn and explore outside the classroom, as well as to socialize with their peers. Past field trips have include hiking, visiting the beach, ice skating or attending a local theatre production. For students who are homeschooled, this offers the chance to spend time with other kids and participate in a variety of new activities.